My Testimony

With Easter being Sunday, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection lately and just wanted to write down how He’s been active in my life in the past few years.

Flashback to summer 2005.. our oldest niece was born. Monica and I got bit hard by the baby bug, but it unfortunately didn’t happen for us. We went to a specialist culminating in the need to do an IUI. Odds weren’t in our favor as the specialist informed us the success rate for the first IUI was only 18%. Faith played a huge role, and He saw us through it. We were blessed with a pregnancy after the first IUI in March 2007.

We were ecstatic to learn that Monica was actually pregnant with twins, but we were saddened a week later to discover one of the twins’ heartbeats had stopped. We were naturally heartbroken, but we also knew that the other baby was okay.

The rest of Monica’s pregnancy was rather non-eventful: everything normal at ultrasounds, etc. That is.. until Monica’s water breaks a month early. After a 44 hour labor, Katie Lynn finally graces us with her presence! She was taken to the nursery for observation and ended up in the NICU. Long story short (long version here), she had three surgeries within her first 60 days of life and saw a pediatric gastroenterlogist for her first 8 months of life. Many times during those 8 months we felt “why us” and “why her”. But we knew He would see us through it, and for whatever His reasons, He decided that we were the parents Katie Lynn needed to see her through it all. He had chosen us, and it’s all about faith in Him for guidance and support.

In the middle of Katie Lynn’s surgeries, Monica has her gall bladder removed and after a single day of recovery, she’s up and about doing everything she can for Katie Lynn.

Flash forward to Fall/Winter 2009. Monica and I started talking about when we’d want a second child and whatnot. The Monday before Christmas, Monica and Katie Lynn bring “an early Christmas present” into my office and tell me to open it. And what’s inside? A positive pregnancy test. We were both so surprised we had conceived naturally given our past concerning Katie Lynn’s pregnancy. Karyn was born in August 2009 after another uneventful pregnancy — a perfect delivery and post-partem. We were released two days later. He had provided for us once again.

At that same time as the end of Monica’s pregnancy and Karyn’s birth, my Mom is diagnosed with stage 3 bladder cancer. She had surgery to remove her bladder one week before Karyn was born. It was a successful surgery that resulted in the removal of all the cancer, and once again faith got her and my family through it. Then on the day after Karyn was born, my mom was being released from the hospital when she has a massive heart attack. Luckily, the heart hospital was connected to the hospital she was already at and she was rushed in for surgery again. If circumstances had been different, i.e. she was already back at home, I’m not sure she would have made it. Blessings in disguise, and the constant is the Lord. He knew her work was not done on this earth.

In May 2010, one Thursday night I had the single most intense painful physical feeling I’ve ever experienced. The next night, the same exact pain happened again in exactly the same location. After an ER visit and some visits to a urologist, a preliminary diagnosis was made: testicular cancer. After talking with Monica, we made the decision to proceed with having the affected testicle removed. After the surgery, pathology determined it was not cancer but instead vasculitis. I was referred to a rheumatologist for further treatment. After multiple tests and whatnot, my rheumatologist determined that it was a rare occurrence of isolated vasculitis — all tests and indicators show that it’s no longer present.

In November 2010, my brother-in-law Ryan, at the urging of his coworkers, took part in a free health screening. Why not? It was free and not a bad idea to have done! Good thing he did – test results were concerning and he was ultimately diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. He had surgery the week of Thanksgiving to microscopically remove what ended up being a softball sized tumor. He’s currently undergoing chemotherapy and slated to be completed in a couple months.

So, yeah.. it’s been a very trying time for me and my family over the past four years. But faith is extremely powerful! After all of this, where do things stand?

  • Katie Lynn is a healthy 3.5 year old. The only remaining “signs” of her ordeal are her scars and her petite frame. But hey, there’s much worse things to be! 🙂
  • Monica’s doing just fine without her gall bladder. 😉
  • Karyn is a healthy albeit ornery almost 20 month old!
  • My mom is going on 20 months of being cancer free. It’s not always easy, but she’s doing amazingly and getting stronger as each day goes by.
  • I’m doing great. Each follow up appointment with the rheumatologist gets spaced out further and further apart from the last one.
  • Ryan is still having his chemo treatments, but at this point is cancer free with a very positive prognosis.

The Lord is SO present in my life, and His impact on me is immeasurable.

I’m going to close this post with the lyrics to two of my favorite praise songs – To The Glory and The Way You Love Me both by Danny Lacey:

I will live my life
Walking in your way
A little more like you
Each and every day
Learning how to trust
I trust you’ll make me change
So That I can live
To the glory of your name

Jesus I want to walk like you
Jesus I want to talk like you
Jesus I want to look like you
To the glory of your name

Glory and honor wisdom and power
Are yours forever amen
Glory and honor wisdom and power
Are yours forever amen

You say your love for me is higher than the heavens
Deeper than the oceans and the sea
And I could never comprehend the depth your love reaches
But I know it reaches the deepest part in me
And praises rise from the depths of my soul
And I say

Thank you for the way that you love me
Thank you for this life that you gave me
Thank you for the way that you set me free
Thank you for the sacrifice
The way you came and gave your life
The way you made this blind man see
Thank you for the way that you love me